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Real 911

Last Monday, Scott was heading to the airport for a flight to Rwanda.  This drive usually takes about 75 – 90 minutes (only 22 miles) but due to crazy traffic – he was stuck and had to just sit there.  He called and was obviously frustrated.  He didn’t want to miss his flight. 

No sooner had he made it through the final jam (Ugandan vernacular for traffic jam) and his cool car died. 

In the dark…

On the un-lit freeway…

Still 35 minutes from the airport.

He called our two mechanics.  Neither of them picked up their phones.

There’s no such thing here as 9-1-1.

He called me before trying another mechanic friend.

Scott needed help.

I immediately texted my Thursday women’s group with the prayer request and called our Pepperdine team in California. The Pepperdine staff were together in a morning meeting and stopped everything to pray.

A minute or two later, one of my prayer friends’ husband called.  He was near where Scott was and would go to meet him and knew a tow-truck driver nearby.  I called Scott back to let him know that help would be on the way.

Not 5 minutes had passed since his “car’s dead” call.

Scott answered immediately. His voice was renewed. Somehow, he had miraculously gotten the car to start again and was now racing to the airport.

I let everyone know that their prayers had moved a huge mountain – and a very old Land Rover Defender.  We now just needed to pray that Scott would actually make it to his flight.

At this point, I wasn’t surprised to hear that he walked onto flight as they were boarding…. Through tons of security, immigration and further screenings. 

He’d made it.  3 ½ hours after leaving home.

We come here from a place where we are fiercely independent.  We gave our girls AAA cards when they started driving so help would be only a phone call away.  And if you really had an emergency, you dial 9-1-1.

None of that exists here. 

But on Monday night, we experienced a better source of help! 


In addition to Scott getting to the airport, I saw the beauty of God’s protection and care. We also saw the value of real community.  Even, if Scott’s car had failed to start, he’d missed his flight or he had to wait for a tow-truck, I saw what a gift we have here.

We have a circle of friends who we know would drop anything to help.  Because they too have needed others when there’s no modern safety net.  I realize that as convenient as 9-1-1 is, God’s provision shows up so tangibly when we have to ask for and receive help from those around us. 

These acts of service help knit our lives together and build the fabric of a beautiful community.  Whether we live minutes apart or on different continents. 

Now you can join me in praying that he makes it back from the airport tonight without another test of our faith!


143 views3 comments


May 31

Love it- faith and friends - all the way !


Apricas LLC
Apricas LLC
May 24

So beautiful, Sally- "God’s provision shows up so tangibly when we have to ask for and receive help from those around us." Love to you! -Shawna

Sally Leist
May 25
Replying to

Thanks Shawna for being part of our circle. Your support is SOOOO important! Happy Summer.

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